Mt Everest Biogas Project Progress since our inception in 2010

The progress made by the Mt Everest Biogas Project since our inception in 2010 is shown in the timeline below.  We present the organizational and planning progress made in this international collaborative effort, as well as the technical progress of our ongoing design.  It will take a lot to build and operate a workable solution to this difficult problem.  But the MEBP continues to consult and collaborate with the community of Nepal and its governmental organizations as we move together toward the most sustainable, robust and simple to manage solution possible.  The steps on our path shown below will serve as proof of concept for the social and technical feasibility of this project.  Thanks you for your interest and support of our work.  We will continue to update as this effort moves forward.

  • 2010 – Verbal commitment of Mingma Sherpa (Climbing and Trekking Guide), Dan Mazur (Climbing and Trekking Guide) and Garry Porter (Mountain Climber and Civil Engineer) to find a sustainable solution for human waste on Mt. Everest.
  •  2010 –Design requirements developed
  • May 2013- Five different design solutions were developed using only, or a combination of: PV panels, solar heaters, immersion resistance heaters, electric water heaters, water storage devices, and radiant heating with pumped hot water.  The pros and cons of each system were presented to an outside technical panel of experts with a recommendation to proceed with the best design. This first Feasibility Design relied on radiant heating to maintain the biogas digester’s temperature.  To avoid confusion, we have left this initial design off our website, as it has been eclipsed by our more recent design that does not use radiant heating.
  • June 2013-July 2013- Seattle team member Nate Janega visits Nepal to present the feasibility study to Nepalese NGOs of importance, namely Biogas Sector Partnership and Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee. During this visit, Nate looked for a suitable site at Gorak Shep, investigated local infrastructure & building styles in the Khumbu valley and researched available building materials and transport in Kathmandu and the mountains. Link to Nate’s Blog
  • August 2013- Seattle engineering team develops its first budget and scope of supply. Although this work became outdated by new design changes, it was an important step in understanding the magnitude of this project.
  • August 2013- Constructive feed-back from BSP and critical design information shared during Nate’s meetings in Kathmandu lead the Seattle engineering team into a new stage of re-design.
  • August 2014- The new design using resistance heaters in the biogas digesters is finished and documented in the Basis Of Design Document. For the most up to date version of this document please see: LINK
  • 2015?- Years of work and dialogue with lead to a Letter of Intent with the Khumbalia Buffer Zone Committee. This formal promotion of the MEBP is critical for the priveledge to construct anything within the boundaries of the Mt Everest National Park.  The Mt Everest Biogas Project looks forward to working with this local Sherpa organization based in the mountain town of Khumjung to finalize this undertaking.  With the Buffer Zone Committee’s help we hope to find a sustainable solution that is in accord with the wishes and cultural concerns of the local people.
  • June 2015?- Mike Marsolek of the Seattle engineering team visits Kathmandu University to set up bench scale biogas reactors with samples of Everest climbers’ waste at Kathmandu University. This project is critical to determining if antibiotics present in the climbers’ waste will inhibit or prevent biological formation of methane and destruction of pathogens.  Although this toxicity question will be answered in months, graduate students at Kathmandu University will be completing all of this research project over the next 2 years.  This lab work deepens the collaboration between the Seattle team and the people of Nepal and will help develop a network of technical support for the project once implemented